Custom membrane keypads
A custom membrane keypad, or custom membrane keyboard, is a very versatile electronic component. Constructed of one single membrane switch or multiple membrane switches, they usually have a durable custom graphic overlay on top, providing resistance to a wide range of chemicals while also displaying custom graphics printing and text.
Due to the way they are constructed, membrane keypads provide a natural level of protection from dust and moisture ingress equivalent to IP54 standard, making them rugged, long lasting and easy to clean. This base level of protection can be further increased, subject to limitations, to enable units to have higher ratings up to a maximum of IP68 standard.
Membrane keypads can be used in virtually any application that currently uses traditional mechanical switches. With the right specifications, a membrane switch assembly can even operate in extremely harsh environments.
Multiple custom membrane switches can be incorporated into a single unit, along with embedded components such as LED's or resistors, other printed features like RFI/EMI shielding, or even EL back-lighting. They can also be embossed with a range of raised profiles to enhance switch positions, logos or other important features. All of this contained within a product that is less than 1mm thick!
Membrane button connections typically exit on one or more flat, flexible ribbon tails, usually located close to an edge of the membrane keypad. These tails can be terminated with different connectors, or the contact ends can be left bare to mate with standard LIF or ZIF connectors.
A permanent acrylic adhesive backing can be applied to the membrane keypad to enable it to adhere to your product. While this adhesive will provide a strong and secure bond to the majority of surfaces, we can provide higher specification adhesives for many low energy surfaces if required.
Membrane switch manufacturer
At Touch Panels we design & manufacture custom membrane keypads in-house. Built to order, they are designed to meet your exact specifications and requirements. We only use high quality materials and components from the leading industry suppliers, ensuring that the finished item is produced to the highest specification and quality.
We provide free, no obligation quotes to manufacture in quantities from a single unit, right up to volume production. Rapid prototyping is available, depending upon the exact specifications, using a combination of digital printing and laser cutting.
Higher quantity orders can be scheduled over 12 months for no additional charge, allowing you to take advantage of the lowest unit pricing. All products are usually manufactured in a single batch and despatched according to your provided schedule.
If you intend to use self-sourced backing plates, we recommend that you free-issue them to Touch Panels and allow us to apply the membrane keypads or membrane keyboard. This utilises the skills of our experienced staff in a clean, controlled assembly environment, which can avoid many unexpected problems and prevent costly waste.
Membrane switch repair
Although we are primarily a keypad manufacturer, we also undertake membrane button repair on a wide range of membrane keypads, even those provided by other membrane keypad manufacturers.
It's not always possible to effect a repair on a membrane switch and panel, so each industrial membrane keyboard will need to be assessed individually. For that reason we are unable to provide estimates on repairs without first seeing the unit.
Custom membrane switch options
A wide range of options are available to ensure that the switch membrane is tailored to your exact requirements, from tactile feedback of the membrane switches to encapsulated components. Please see below for a list of options to consider.
- Backing plates: a wide range of materials and finishes are available
- Colours: virtually any requirement can be met either with Pantone references or matching to samples
- Connection: our standard SIL 2.54mm/0.1” pitch female connector, or custom pitch without connector
- Embossing: Braille, bubble, logo, pillow or rim embossing
- Encapsulated components: a wide range of surface mount LED’s and resistors can be fitted
- Illumination: we can provide an EL insert for back-lighting in low light conditions
- Shielding: additional ground plane to protect against EMI/RFI emissions and ESD
- Tactile feedback: dome embossing, steel dome inserts or non-tactile
- Windows: clear or coloured, varnished for clarity or diffused